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This page contains a brief glossary of some of the more commonly used Japanese terminology KUGB Karateka will need on their way to gaining Black Belt.

The glossary includes the Japanese words / phrases, and their English translation, used during training sessions and gradings, and students should familiarise themselves with these terms alongside the KUGB Grading Syllabus. (The grading syllabus opens in a new browser window allowing you refer to them both side-by-side - Member Login required).

Sensei, will use these terms often, helping you to understand their meanings and pronunciations. Any questions should be discussed Sensei.

Japanese Translation     Japanese Translation
General Terms  
Dojo Training Hall     Dojo Kun Dojo code
Sensei Instructor   Seiza Kneel
Rei Bow   Yoi Ready
Migi Right   Hidari Left
Kamae-te Move to ready position   Hajime Start/begin
Mawatte Turn   Yame Finish/stop
Gi Karate suit   Obi Belt
Kime Focus   Kiai Martial shout
Kihon Basic techniques   Kata Formal exercises
Kumite Sparring   Zanshin Martial state of mind
Jodan Head     or awareness
Chudan Middle body   Oss Respectful greeting
Gedan Lower body     or acknowledgment or
        understanding of a
Dachi - Stances  
Heiko dachi Natural stance     Heisoku dachi Feet together stance
Musubi dachi Informal stance   Zenkutsu dachi Front stance
Kiba dachi Straddle stance   Shiko dachi Open leg/Sumo stance
Kokutsu dachi Back stance      
Uke - Blocks  
Gedan Barai Downward block     Age Uke Rising block
Soto Uke Outside block   Uchi Uke Inside block
Shuto uke Knife hand block   Tate Shuto uke Vertical knife hand block
Nagashi uke Sweeping block   Haishu uke Back hand block
Empi uke Elbow block   Juji uke X block
Morote uke Augmented block   Kakewake uke Wedge block
Tsuki - Punches  
Kara/Choku tsuki Straight punch     Oi tsuki Stepping punch
Kizami tsuki Front hand punch   Gyaku tsuki Reverse punch
Kagi tsuki Hook punch   Ren tsuki Two punch combination
Sanbon tsuki Three punch combination      
Uchi - Strikes  
Age empi uchi Rising elbow strike     Yoko empi uchi Side elbow strike
Mawashi empi uchi Round elbow strike   Ushiro empi uchi Reverse elbow strike
Tate empi uchi Downward elbow strike   Shuto uchi Knife hand strike
Uraken uchi Back fist strike   Tetsui uchi Hammer fist strike
Nukite Spear hand thrust   Teisho uchi Palm heel strike
Haito uchi Ridge hand strike      
Geri - Kicks  
Mae geri Front kick     Yoko geri keage Side snap kick
Yoko geri kekomi Side thrust kick   Mawashi geri Roundhouse kick
Ushiro geri Back kick   Hiza geri Knee kick
Ren geri Kicking combinations   Nidan geri Two kicks with same leg
  stepping between kicks     without step between
Kumite - Sparring  
Sanbon Kumite Three step sparring     Gohon Kumite Five step sparring
Kihon Ippon Kumite Basic one-step sparring   Jiyu Ippon Kumite Semi-free style sparring
Kaishi Ippon Kumite Reaction sparring   Jiyu Kumite Free style sparring



Sensei Andy Sherry 9th Dan KUGB
Sensei Andy Sherry
9th Dan KUGB
Chief Instructor - KUGB

Affiliated to the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB)


Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda 9th Dan KUGB  1935-2003
Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda
9th Dan KUGB


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